Baltimore Oriole

ANIMAL:
Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula

Type of Animal:
Songbird

Habitat:
Open woodland, forest/forest edge, leafy deciduous river banks, small groves of leafy deciduous trees, brush, shrubbery, parks, orchards, backyards, gardens, shade-grown coffee/cacao plantations, riverside groves, elms, shade trees, deciduous/mixed woodland edges, towns, semiopen country, partially wooded wetlands, tree stands along rivers, suburban woodlots, farmland woodlots, savanna, grassland, scrub forest, riparian areas, suburban/urban trees

Location(s):
S Canada, continental US from Montana/Wyoming/Colorado eastward as well as in SW California, E & W Mexico, Central America, Caribbean, N & W Colombia, N Venezuela, vagrant in Ecuador, W Europe, & NW Mexico

Appearance:
Sturdy-bodied w/ thick neck/long legs, thick based pointed bills, males have black heads/backs w/ orange to yellow-orange belly/rump/outer tail feathers & white wing bars, females & immature males have brownish to yellowish to yellow-brown head/back/upper area, darker wings, dull orange-yellow breast/belly, yellow tail, yellow undertail coverts, immature females have grayish back w/ faint streaking/pale yellow wash on head/breast & yellow tail

Food/Diet:
Insects, insect larvae, spiders, snails, berries, nectar, sugar water, fruit, flowers, flower buds, jelly/marmalade, fruit juice, pulp, legumes

Status in Wild:
Stable

Conservation:
Protected by Migratory Bird Treaty Act

Lifestyle:
Solitary or male-female pairs

Additional Info:

Called:
Male: Cock
Female: Hen
Young: Chick
Group: Pair

Weight:
Male: 1.4 oz
Female: 1.1 oz

Gestation:
2 weeks

Life Span:
6-10 years

Height:
Male: 6.81-7.4 in
Female: 6.61-6.69 in

Body Length:
Male: 6.81-7.4 in
Female: 6.61-6.69 in

Tail Length:
Male: 1.4 in
Female: 1.3 in

Main predators are predatory birds, predatory mammals, crocodilians, & snakes.
 
Sometimes hybridize w/ closely related Bullock’s Orioles.
 
Often attracted to fruit/jelly/nectar feeders & many people often put out feeders specifically for these birds. These feeders also attract hummingbirds, which are sometimes attacked by larger orioles, due to feeding on much of the same food.
 
While they eat many pest species, they can be potential pests to fruit crops.
 
Sexually mature at a year old.
 
Females make basket-like hanging nests over 5-8 day period weaving w/ strong fibers. Nests usually hang 30 ft off ground.

Fun Fact(s):
State bird of Maryland.
 
Baltimore’s major league baseball team Baltimore Orioles named after these birds.
 
Named not for city of Baltimore but resemblance of male coloration to Calvert Family (Lord/Baron Baltimore) coat of arms. Not closely related to Old World Orioles (these birds New World Blackbirds) but have yellow coloration of Eurasian Golden Oriole, whose sight was believed to cure jaundice.

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